Victorian ladies and gentlemen of a literary bent sometimes kept what they called a “commonplace book.” Into a commonplace book went cuttings from journals and newspapers, scraps of prose or poetry that struck the compiler as relevant to her interests, and fresh thoughts that might profit from further revision. The entries were dated as in a journal. Interestingly, commonplace books were public journals and quite distinct from any private diary the person might be keeping. Family members were free to jot helpful remarks in the margins–or indeed, pen their own entries or attach their own cuttings.
The parallels with blogging are amusing: commonplace books were “remixes” of commonly available materials, spiced with reflections on the day’s events. In any case, this blog of mine will be a kind of commonplace book: a public journal, responding to current events, or expressing thoughts that I would like you, my readers, to improve and polish with your comments.
I am the Editor-in-Chief of MIT’s Technology Review. In this blog, I will try out ideas that I am considering writing about or assigning to other writers. Please tell me what you think. Your ideas may appear in our magazine or Web site; and if you really hate something, maybe you can dampen my enthusiasms.
But not everything I write about here will be concerned with technology. I am interested in many other things, and I juggle a variety of projects. I hope some of you find those thoughts interesting also.
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
ChatGPT is going to change education, not destroy it
The narrative around cheating students doesn’t tell the whole story. Meet the teachers who think generative AI could actually make learning better.
Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives
The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.
Learning to code isn’t enough
Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.
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